MLR - PMP 3/20/14

Published : March 20 2014 at 9:16 ET

Major averages fell on higher volume after the Fed said the economy is most likely healthy enough to grow without having to keep interest rates near zero. Market direction has been in a tight uptrend since the Fed went on a full blast of quantitative easing in January 2013. The question now will be whether the markets will see the Fed's announcement as ultimately big picture bullish if they are to believe in a recovering economy, or whether rising rates and diminished levels of QE will be regarded as more detrimental to overall markets.

Price/volume will, as always, guide our market exposure. Markets were able to finish mid-bar but lower which implies bears may be ahead of the bulls. That said, rising rates after a recession are typically bullish for markets as they reflect a recovering economy. The rule "3 steps and a stumble" says that after recession, a growing economy requires the Fed to hike rates to keep inflation at bay. When rates are hiked 3 times, the fourth hike derails the bull and causes a correction. Of course, this is just a rough rule of thumb but it has shown to be somewhat true in past market cycles.

Futures are down this morning as both Asia and Europe have sold off overnight with Hong Kong leading the downside to the tune of -1.8%. Meanwhile, European bourses are down nearly 1% on the day, adding to the negative tone this morning.

Solar stock First Solar (FSLR) had a pocket pivot on what was also a massive-volume breakout. Solar stocks as a group, currently ranked #2 as an industry group, did not join the party, however, as names like SolarCity (SCTY) sold off sharply.

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